Archive for August 2009
Have you ever wondered why we have the International Classification of Disease codes, or ICD for short, but we don’t have an International Classification of Health? This is a major short-coming! Really! How are we to understand the significance genomic contributions towards our health, unless we have a standardized why to describe it? This goes back to my prior discussion, what is Health? It can’t just be the absence of disease!
The ICD codes have been around for a while and we are on the 9th iteration. Mostly they are used for billing purposes for insurance companies to approve or deny coverage. However, during my experiences with billing, I found it frustrating to try to classify a patient as ‘Healthy’. The only way I was able to get reimbursed from the insurance company was if I found something wrong with them. This is a fundamentally conflicting philosophy if my mission was to keep them well!
Ergo, I propose that we concentrate our efforts for a structured vocabulary to take Health into consideration and I therefore declare the start of the ICH codes, International Classification of Health, version 1 – ICH-1. Anyone want to help me?